Sarah and her Ativan

sarah's ativan cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

“Sarah’s Ativan” by David Hayward

Has this happened to you?

It has happened to me. More than once. Almost never a good thing. Not the Ativan, but the anxiety.

Want to hear something strange? Whenever I see a cop or a patrol car my stomach sinks. It’s just automatic. I don’t know why. My dad was a cop for his entire career. So I know that there are good cops. But I still have this wave of anxiety wash over me when I see one. If I end up in an encounter with one, well then the anxiety elevates to a new level. Why? Because it usually means I’m in trouble and am going to be punished.

Some people feel this way about pastors, ministers, priests, imams, rabbis, etcetera. Most people will acknowledge that there are good ones. But usually, when someone is being called in, anxiety creeps in because, usually, in their experience, they’re in trouble and are going to be punished.

I’ve never taken Ativan. I know lots of people who have. In fact, even though the name’s been changed to protect the innocent, this cartoon is based on true events.

Do you relate to this cartoon?

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Shreddog

    I was called into a church office by a pastor and was informed that they were checking my giving record. They said that it was obvious to them that I wasn’t tithing. He proceeded to inform me that when I signed on as a member that I agreed to pay my 10 % each month. I then reminded him that it also said that I agreed to spend 15 minutes a day in bible reading and prayer. After that I asked him how often he calls people into his office to ask about that. Since he didn’t reply I told him that it was obvious to me that all he cared about was getting my money and could care less about my spiritual growth. Never went back!

  • linda_marie

    My husband was called into the pastor’s office at a church we attended years ago. We were in the NOLA area and people there like to have fun…

    So – my husband’s employees bought him a b-day cake that looked like 2 D-sized naked breasts. Not knowing exactly what to do, he simply bit into one of them!!!

    And yes. The grapevine to the pastor’s office was working at warp speed! My husband went in to the pastor’s office and was asked why he did such a thing that would “hurt his witness”. My husband laughed, shrugged his shoulders and said, “It the first thing I thought of!” I think the pastor kind of shook his head and gave up on my husband that day!

    Unfortunately, a lot of pastor/parishioner “confrontations” don’t go that well!!

  • LorenHaas

    I got called into the pastor’s office once because a “brother” in a small group I was in reported to him that I was not qualified to work in a divorce recovery ministry because I accepted evolution!? I agreed not to discuss evolution in the divorce ministry (how hard was that?) but did not back down on evolution as a scientific fact. After a long lecture I learned to avoid the church office. This incident and several others convinced me I did not respect the teaching at that church and my wife and I left for the “liberal” American Baptist church down the road. Could not be happier! I even get to teach with an assumption of evolution. The divorce ministry came with us and is flourishing.

  • hazel jane

    Oh my goodness, I was called into the “office” many a time. Or it was sometimes a phone call. We were the youth pastors. I felt like i was always in some kind of trouble. It usually happened after a leaders meeting. I would have said something truthful, and they would be horrified. i would have called out something that was supposed to be left unsaid, as this embarrassed the male leaders. I once got hauled in for using a song in worship that was deemed uncool…and not in the folder of songs. I explained that I really felt it was for someone that day, and actually someone had actually come and said how they really needed those words….but i got the sack from worship….”we cant take a risk you will not do something like that again” my whole church life was being called to the principle’s office. And of course, not being meek and mild I didn’t say “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” They didn’t like my honesty. But yes, I still get that sinking feeling, like I am in trouble, what have I done or said now!! I am so so happy to be free from that control.

  • http://twitter.com/superflippy Susanna King

    I didn’t know pastors called people into their offices. Usually, it’s the other way around, isn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.spjut.9 Shawn Spjut

    Mine was cloaked as a ‘staff’ meeting, except I was the only ‘staff’ member called in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1182360234 Julianna Hilbert

    Yup…especially when it’s about being asked to leave the church because of something someone else did.

  • Adam Julians

    It woudn’t be human to not have had this expereince at least once. Not sure about the drug taking though. There are many times a drug is an important medicine to take, but I would always prefer to go down the path of using the minimal amount of medication.

    It’s natural for have a fear reaction – every living being has that. The difficulty happens when it becomes a limiting overreaction. What I tend to do is if hae undue fear about someting is to keep doing it until i either don’t fear it any more or the fear becomes proprotionate to whatever is being expereinced. And to keep in mind that courage is sometimes about expereincing fear and facing it. Sometimes I am not strong enough to do that, and that’s OK. At such times I avoid the stress and do what is conducive to getting myself stronger.

    And some things we can’t plan, we just have to do our best with what we have in our coping methinds toolbox at any point in time. And being content with that. We can”t control everything that happens or others, but we can control how we engage with what happens and how we interact with others. with control comes responsibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/martgilleysmith Marti Gilley Smith

    hahaha. Bless his heart, I think my pastor takes one before I come to see him!